Meeting a Critical Need
Scientific and public concern is mounting over the rapid destruction of the Earth's remaining tropical forests. These forests are home to irreplaceable biodiversity and perform vital ecological functions. American Forest & Paper Association (AFPA) member companies, which manufacture more than 80 percent of the wood and paper products produced in the United States, can provide a powerful market signal to help address illegal and unsustainable logging and road-building in biologically important forests worldwide.
Through the Sustainable Forestry Board, an independent body that oversees the development and continuous improvement of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) Program Standard, we have worked with industry leaders to strengthen biodiversity conservation standards for industrial timberlands and worldwide fiber procurement. We have successfully strengthened the standards, procedures and governance of the SFI. The new standards, which go beyond current federal endangered species legislation, will help identify and protect imperiled species and sites on industry-managed lands in North America, combat illegal logging around the world and promote natural forest conservation in the biodiversity hotspots and major tropical wilderness areas.
Developed new protection measures: In July 2002, the Sustainable Forestry Board announced a decision to enhance the Sustainable Forestry Initiative standards with new measures to protect biodiversity. Under these new measures, companies seeking SFI certification in North America will develop and implement plans for protection of sites containing imperiled plants, animals and ecological communities. Companies participating in the SFI certification program will also be required to implement international wood procurement policies to help prevent illegal logging and promote conservation of biodiversity hotspots and major tropical wilderness areas.